Issue 8 - 3 September 2012 enews home

Revolutionary CDU academic receives international accolades


By Leanne Coleman


Australian Professorial Fellow Michael Fellows has been honoured with two prominent accolades

A founder of one of the most revolutionary mathematical theories underpinning modern advances in biology and medicine has been honoured with two prominent accolades.

World-renowned computer scientist and Australian Professorial Fellow at Charles Darwin University, Michael Fellows is one of only a handful of computer scientists from around the world to have received a Springer Festschrift.

The Festschrift (a book honouring a respected person) is entitled “The Multivariate Revolution in Algorithmics'' and was presented to Professor Fellows as part of his recent 60th birthday  celebrations at the prestigious Dagstuhl computer science research centre in Germany during a weeklong workshop on multivariate algorithms research.

With papers contributed by many of his peers, the book details the ground-breaking work of Professor Fellows in the creation of “parameterized complexity”, a mathematical framework that has global relevance and applications.

“Parameterized complexity is fundamental to the design of algorithms for a wide range of applications of computing, especially where large complex datasets are involved,” Professor Fellows said. “It has been really important to DNA sequencing technology.”

Professor Fellows was also recently honoured with the ETH International Medal of Honor in Computer Science Education (one of the highest possible honours in Computer Science Education circles worldwide).

The medal was awarded for the worldwide impact of the innovative book ``Computer Science Unplugged'', written by Michael Fellows with New Zealand colleagues Tim Bell and Ian Witten, aimed at presenting the mathematical ideas of computer science to primary school students.  It has been translated into 14 languages and has spurred a global grass-roots movement.